OpenDNS: A Cloud-Based Security Solution for Your Business



Cisco Umbrella, also know as OpenDNS, is a cloud based security solution that is designed to protect users while they are browsing the web.  While being filtered through the Cisco Umbrella cloud, users can surf the net with confidence knowing that they are being protected by one of the most comprehensive web security solutions available on the market.

Cisco Umbrella operates on the Domain Name System (DNS) level and works across all protocols.  Traditionally, web filtering solutions will only filter the common web ports such as http (80), and https (443) and thus can be missing a good portion of traffic leaving and entering your network.  There are 65,535 ports available and inspecting only two of the 65,535 ports leaves too many options for attackers to work with.  Since Cisco Umbrella works at the DNS level, and over 90% of DNS attacks originate with DNS requests, implementing Cisco Umbrella would significantly mitigate the risk of traffic on a network.

The Day-Zero attack is the one that no one person or device can prevent.  However, Cisco Umbrella is ahead of the curve in this battle. Cisco Umbrella processes an estimated 60 billion DNS queries per day from approximately 50 million active users.  This information is taken and then used by the Cisco Umbrella service to better refine its protection and rule set.

Cisco Umbrella is very simple to deploy and works extremely well with not only the corporate networks but also any guest networks that may exist in the environment.  Overall deployment in the environment consists of simply setting DNS forwards to the Cisco Umbrella cloud services.  The Cisco Umbrella dashboard resides in the cloud as well meaning that there is no need for physical equipment onsite.  Cisco Umbrella also protects mobile users while they are in the field.  Deployment for mobile users is done very easily by installing a small piece of software that is only a few megabytes in size.  The simple deployment of Cisco Umbrella takes less effort than traditional filtering appliances leaving more time for other pressing projects.

One of the primary concerns that administrators will have when installing a filtering solution is the delay it may cause in web browsing.  Due to the design of Cisco Umbrella, most clients will actually see a decrease in DNS resolution and increased web browsing speed. This is due to a couple of factors. First, the Cisco Umbrella data centers are peering directly with said ISP’s which decreases name resolution.  Secondly, the processing of web requests isn’t done on one piece of hardware. The web requests are distributed among the Cisco Umbrella servers.  These two factors coupled together typically produce a quicker browsing session for users.

To learn more on how to implement this solution in your business, call us today at 315-338-0388!

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